Jumping into a life that is laid out so differently than one you lived just months before can be a bit intimidating, yet exciting. Life as a single parent sure does throw a curveball with every passing day, it seems. Especially when your life is full of multiples and special needs!
I have embarked on this new journey in life that is very interesting, entertaining, chaotic, and fun, though, too.
There is certainly an aloneness that comes from being left after 12 years of marriage. What’s interesting to me is that out of all of the possible areas I could feel alone as a parent – be it dressing the kids, playing with them, feeding them, bathing them, getting homework done, making sure they have their needs met – the place I feel it the most is knowing that I’m the sole responsible party.
I can’t just say “I’d like to go out with some girlfriends this Friday night if you are willing to watch the kids” anymore!
They are my responsibility 24/7. All 11 years, 7 years, and two bundles of energy at 3 years old! It’s up to me to make sure their physical needs are taken care of, but also their mental, emotional, and spiritual ones, too.
The twins, of course, have also chosen this time during the past few months to start letting their inner toddler ‘tude come seeping to the surface and explode in my face every once in a while. I’m pretty much guaranteed to get tears and screaming at some point in each day – because such is the life of a special needs 3 year old that can’t seem to get all their words out, has to defend themselves and their toys from the other 3 year old (gotta love brothers!), and generally just gets cranky because they can’t figure out if they are interested in napping or not… or fighting it all the way. Fun! Fun!
As much as I have to deal with the craziness that, some days, feels built into my household, I love the fact that I can still focus on the great relationship I have with my kids and what I alone can teach them.
They spend most of their time with me, so I’m choosing to pull them into this exciting time of the unknown and embrace it – the sky is the limit!
It’s critical to me as their mom that I’m maintaining the kids’ schedules and rules of the house, and even encouraging them to step it up a notch. I’ve even started a new chores plan and included new ways for them to earn money.
There are things in life that only parents can teach or else your child will learn by default from someone else (or may not even learn at all). I’m not letting that happen to my kids.
I’ve determined these are the areas I’m going to focus on with raising my kids during the rest of 2013:
~ how to give, save, and spend wisely with money
~ which foods are important to eat and how to eat a healthy lifestyle
~ how to cook
~ how to clean and keep an organized house
~ how to maintain a good attitude while doing something you don’t want to do
~ how to be disciplined to work, even when you don’t feel like it
~ how to treat each other kindly and with respect
~ how to trust God in everything, no matter what the circumstance looks like
~ and to always, ALWAYS be thankful for everything in your life
I learned some of these things, thankfully, from my own parents growing up, but others I’ve had to learn the hard way. Now is the time to instill these into my kids so they don’t have to go through as much as I have and will have a solid foundation for finances, relationships, keeping a home, and even making smart food decisions.
I heard on the radio this morning about a dad who removed all possible items from his son’s room for 3 days because the son was so ungrateful. Now, his son thanks him for everything!
We live in such a “ME” age where people think they are owed things from their family, neighbors, friends, even the government. They aren’t thankful for anything they have and expect to be given more with no effort on their part. And unfortunately, our children in this society are picking up on that attitude, too.
My children will not be ungrateful nor expect a handout. They are being trained and groomed for success so they can take their lives into their own hands and have hearts to bless others. Hopefully, I won’t have to go to those same measures as the dad did in the story above, but my kids are going to learn it one way or another… sooner rather than later.
What kinds of things have you done with your kids to teach them how to honor and respect others, be grateful for what they have, and know how to be wise with their money? Share with me in the comments section below!
Jessica Stone is a mom of 4 and owner of her own businesses in the fitness, beauty, and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple. Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!